Year 6 - Day 200: Today, I am grateful for the "I wills".
Bottom line... I will or I won't! We can't live life in the "I might" lane and be effective. We spend our days in the interpersonal struggle, knowing the right thing to do, but finding it hard at times.
Guess what? Those who came before us had the same struggles. Look at this soul revealing verse from Romans:
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good." -Romans 7:15-16
Humans are flawed, but His grace is perfect and by that grace, we are forgiven, restored and made free. Can I get an amen?
There are so many ways to study the Word of God. This is one of my favorites. Choose a word phrase and look up how many times it is used in the Bible...or even one book. Today's image is from themodernmary.com. Check out her posts on Pinterest or at the web address. So fun. Yes, Bible study is fun.
Ally has journaled "I will" statements from the Psalms. Wow. I love the emphasis on the "I WILL" in her capital letters. In this day of typing on devices, handwritten things are more precious. Won't our children love showing our handwritten Bible study notes to our children and great grandchildren? You can easily compile them with a word search at a place like Biblegateway.com.
You are not just a "doodler" when writing out scripture. You are tossing a pebble in the water that may echo into eternity. My special young friend, Elaina, is an amazing doodler. She is mastering some fonts she uses in Bible journaling. I will have to show her this "I WILL" page.
We are willful creations by design. We have a will. We have a way. The wonder of it all is that the God of the Universe designed us for a unique relationship with him. Different than the angels. He wanted someone to love him back by choice and in love... not out of obligation, duty or fear. God longs for us to long for him.
To fully understand us, he chose to become one of us.. to live life with us... in the person of Jesus. Son of God and Son of Man. The most amazing gift. Then, unable to abandon his children after doing life with us, He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us in the most intimate of ways. He is in our heads and in our hearts, guarding and guiding our days, leading us in His ways. It might sound crazy, but it is so very, very real.
David, imperfect like the rest of us, diligently sought God's heart. He leaned into God's words and his ways. David poured out his heart in the Psalms. Not all of them are credited to David, but many of them are.
The book of Psalm is full of "I WILLs". The ESV translation has 141. The NIV has 169. The NLT has 184. The good old KJV has 189 "I WILLs".
Why do these passages matter? They reflect God in all of our days. Some celebratory. Some pouring out sorrow. Some are seeking. Some are courage building. Some are hopeful. Some are worshipful. This list is not conclusive. To choose HIM in all circumstances is a willful choice.
Funny thing about human nature. We seek him more when we have trouble. He wants us to delight with him in our joys, too. How do you feel about the friend who only calls when they need something?
Embrace the "I WILLs" today. They are good.
So, before I started his post, I prayed for the Lord to add any verse of His choosing. This was my "Verse of the day" when I opened up Biblegateway.com to grab some references:
"Fear not, for I AM with you; be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I WILL strengthen you, I WILL help you, I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10 (*emphasis on "I will" and "I am" is my addition)
Serendipity or God speaking? To be honest... it still kind of freaks me out when His answer is so clearly sent. Yikes. And ,my favorite name for God is "I AM" so I am overjoyed at this verse.
Today, we can celebrate the "I WILLs". Will you?
Today, I am grateful for the "I wills" found in the Psalms.